Tag Archives: activism

How to Build A Free Activism Website in Blogger

activismrentonplanetActivism in itself, usually doesn’t pay well. Especially when you’re starting a new project, funds are often limited.

One mistake many people make when they are beginning organized digital activism is to spend a bunch of money on their website, not realizing that there is an easier and less expensive way.

If you pay someone to build your website, you will need to pay them update it, upgrade it, add new elements, and whatever else comes up in the development of your cause. Each change or addition will cost you more.

Paying to do activism doesn’t seem so bad at first because you are passionate about your cause and you feel it is worth it. However, as time goes on and costs add up, your volunteer hours and financial contributions may begin to wear you down, dampening your resolve.

However, if you are not too picky about certain design elements , there is a very simple way to create your own website completely for free. A website that includes:

  • an email feature,
  • social icons to direct people to your social media accounts,
  • static pages,
  • a blog or “news” section,
  • navigation bars wherever you may need them,
  • your logo easily posted at the top of your page and an opportunity to write a tagline, and
  • countless gadgets that enable you to customize your website.

nakedtruth_screenshotIn this post, I will show you how to make a beautiful website with all the necessary design and content elements that will ensure you have all your bases covered for free.

The only cost to you will be to purchase a domain name if you do not already have one. Domain names can cost as little as $9.99 and go all the way up depending on the name you want and whether someone else has already purchased it with intent to sell it to people like you at a later date.

Currently, I have two websites I am running. The one you are reading right now <DigitalActivistMedia.com> which is a WordPress site; and my sex worker rights page <NakedTruth.ca> which is a Blogger site.

Please refer to the NakedTruth.ca page for examples of the elements I will be discussing here.

WordPress vs Blogger: Why I Love Blogger

A note on my experience so far using WordPress vs Blogger:

I am not a web designer. I do not know code. Widgets baffle me. Despite years of digital activism and running websites, I have never been able to work in a program beyond using a WYSIWYG editor.

Running a WordPress website frustrates me, especially when I see what I can do in my blogger site easily and without grief. Beyond the cost of hosting the site, any kind of new element or element I would like to change about my WordPress site costs me money, whether it is a an upgraded template or the web designer to do the work. I have been fortunate that a friend has worked on the site for me for free, but I don’t want to take advantage of her generosity either.

Blogger, on the other hand, has offered me endless possibilities. I can add html codes very easily using their html gadget. Anything I have wanted to do, I’ve been able to do with Blogger by myself.

Steps to Creating an Activism Website in Blogger

I am going to list the steps here with links to the “how to’s” in each of the steps. Since the information is already out there, I didn’t see any reason to re-create it. However, if you’re having trouble, please feel free to ask questions in the comment section and I will help you out!

  1. Create a Blogger Website
  2. Main Design Elements – Think minimal distraction, clear purpose, and obvious “call to action.” Go into “Design,” then “Layout” to add your logo into the “Header.”
  3. Remove the “Blogger” navigation bar.
  4. Add your own Favicon to show at the top of the page.
  5. Create “Pages” – The main ones you must include are the “About” page, “Resources” page (or other term to describe where all your best information is), and “Contact” page. Limit the amount of pages you have to limit distraction and make navigation easier.
  6. Purchase and direct a domain name to your Blogger website.
  7. Add an Email Subscription option using Free Mailchimp. First you must sign up for Mailchimp, create a “List” and then an “RSS Campaign.” Then you can use the code from your campaign to add an HTML gadget to your sidebar or into your posts. You can also use your Mailchimp account to send out newsletters and other messages to your subscribers.
  8. Add Disqus to your site to make commenting easy for your guests. First you must create an account with Disqus.
  9. Add Sitemeter to your site, so you can track visitors and traffic to your site. Once you’ve signed up, copy the code (from the manager section of your Sitemeter account which you will find under “HTML”) and paste it into an HTML gadget in your Blogger account.
  10. Social Icons from POWr widget show a "plug" sign that is not relevant to your site. However, the widget is free, so you have no choice but to have the plug sign there.

    Social Icons from POWr widget show a “plug” sign that is not relevant to your site.

    Add POWr social icons to your sidebar.  There is one aspect of this free gadget that you may not like: The “plug” symbol on the POWr widget for social icons which leads people to the POWr site. However, the other icons are customizeable for you to include whichever social media accounts you want to make accessible to your visitors.

Now you have an activism website that is fully equipped to build a subscriber list, send out blog posts and news updates, is easy to comment on, has links directly to your social media accounts, and you can see who is visiting your site and where your traffic is coming from.

Why spend a ton of money on hosting and a web developer, or depend on a kind friend to make your website changes when you can do it yourself easily?

Blogger makes web design so simple, anyone can do it. Once your site is set-up following the above directions, you are left with the fun part of adding blog posts about your cause that will inspire people to support it.

As activists, we already dedicate a lot of our time, energy, and money to the causes we’re passionate about. Make your activism website in Blogger so you can spend your time, energy, and money on yourself. You need your strength if you’re going to change the world.

Please post comments and questions below. xoxo


Be the Solution Or Else

activismrentonplanetDo you agree with this quote by Eldridge Cleaver?

“If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem.”

I recently felt distaste towards some people in my life who travel and horde money so they can retire early. Yep, that about sums it up. Why should it bother me? I wondered.

As someone who catches myself being judgmental and strives to challenge myself in those moments, I asked myself, “What is it about them doing what makes them happy that bothers me so much?”

That was when I realized that on a subconscious level, I agree with the above statement. I judge people who are not part of the solution, because deep down, I consider them part of the problem.

makeadifferenceeveryday(In retrospect, I realize I am totally drawn to activists. I’ve unintentionally based my respect for people upon their dedication to truth and willingness to stand for something, especially when they are standing alone.)

Epiphany! The things you learn about yourself when you’re not even trying.

Being an introspective sort, I then wondered how I could bridge this new development. How could I strive to be nonjudgmental while also judging people for lack of activism?

Clearly, I would have to give up one of these values, or be a hypocrite.

It goes without saying, that I should stop judging my narrow-focused, fellow human beings. I must not give in to the temptation to put myself above others, no matter how shallow and meaningless their lives are.

changetheworldcoverOops, there I go again.

Gandhi? Mother Teresa? St. Francis of Assisi? Wayne Dyer? Deepak Chopra? God?

I could use a little guidance right now.

Tell me how to accept the automatons. The people who walk through life, ignoring the suffering of others; focused on themselves and their own puny lives at all moments.

Tell me how to love them unconditionally.

Cause right now, I’m struggling. I want to slap some sense into these people. I want to wake them up. I…I…want to shake them till they get it!

I realize, it’s not my burden. I have my journey. They have theirs. Okay, okay, okay. I will try not to judge them. I will try to be happy for them, when they are bragging about their trips to tropical locations (and not even a little bit jealous…okay, a little bit). I will even try to like them; see the wonderfulness inside of them.

shakeitupBut I can’t promise I won’t try to shake them up once in awhile. Oh no. They are gonna be shaken up when this @DAMactivist comes around. There’s no hiding, my friends.

I’m going to love my activism all over you. (A voice in my head told me to. It must be Rob Schneider.)

#bethesolution


Socially Unacceptable Activism

When you read the title of this post, is there a particular activism that pops into your head? Perhaps YOU engage in a cause that is socially unacceptable.

gladmyprostituteFor instance, feminism is the dinosaur of unacceptable activism. Even many feminists don’t want to be called the “F” word, for fear of being equated with the crazy, shame-slinging, man-hating ones.

Perhaps it is easier to start with socially acceptable activism? It makes me think of environmentalists, animal rights protectors, Monsanto opposers, breastfeeding champions; even LGBT rights has gone mainstream.

I like to think I am all of those kinds of activist. But I am also a fringe activist belonging to two very different socially unacceptable activism movements: sex worker rights and vaccine awareness. I know what it’s like to be hated.

Moral crusaders and radical “feminists” hate me. They call me out by name publicly in blogs and on websites. To them, I am a pimp and perpetuator of rape. To them, I am “privileged” and my experience in the sex industry is not “typical.” All this because I enjoyed being a stripper and I challenge the stigma associated with it.

damonmagwoodMedical professionals and people who have faith in the medical establishment hate me. They have accused me of being a baby-killer, a promoter of disease, and a “conspiracy theorist.” All over the web, they demand that people like me be put in jail or quarantined on an island. Some even make threats against children of people like me, who don’t vaccinate.

I have to tell you. Being a part of socially unacceptable activism isn’t easy. I have faced scorn, ridicule, blame, and outright hostility for speaking my truth.

I have feared for my safety, been cyber-stalked, felt many times like I’ve been punched in the gut when I opened my Facebook or email accounts.  I’ve embarrassed my family and lost friends. For speaking my truth.

And that is the essence of activism to me. It is speaking from experience and having allies. I have experience as a sex industry worker, therefore I am entitled to demand my rights. I have experienced vaccine-injury, therefore I am entitled to warn others about the risks.

At the heart of every movement are the people who’ve suffered.

You can’t tell me what it’s like to be a stripper if you’ve never been discriminated against for being one. (Or flicked your underwear off your toe, into the air; catching it with your finger in front of a bar full of men.)

If your child was vaccinated and went on to be a straight “A” student and valedictorian, that does not erase my experience of vaccine harm. (Thousands of parents aren’t lying.)

Sex industry workers are not collateral damage in the war on organized crime or in the name of abolishing male privilege or for the sake of Christian morality. People who are vaccine-injured or lose their lives following a vaccine, especially children, are not collateral damage for the good of “the herd.”

I am not disposable.

only_rights_can_stop_wrongsPeople become passionate about a cause because it has impacted us. It is our truth.

I find it ironic when I see other activists slamming a movement, like my sex worker friends slamming parents who don’t vaccinate. Or vice-versa. I live with the stigma of both.

I go through moments of fear and anxiety. Should I stand up for this cause that has impacted me? Will I be attacked or is this person open to learning?

Yet, there is a certain rush to standing proud and loud about my truth. When I’m quoted in the media or my writing is featured, I feel a rush that I decidedly enjoy.

I get a big grin on my face, giggle a little. I know I’m about to be both criticized and congratulated. And I am ready. I am armed with experience and knowledge. No one can intimidate me…today! (Maybe tomorrow I will hide and nurse my wounds.)

I am passionate about my truth; socially unacceptable, though it may be. Sorry Mom. Sorry Aunt Head-In-The-Sand. Your ex-stripper, anti-vax relation is spouting her mouth off again.

Being a socially unacceptable activist isn’t easy. I have days when I feel very attacked. I feel drained. I feel despised. I feel threatened. I wonder why I put myself through it. I turn off my phone, boycott my computer and hide from the cruel world out there.

But I can’t help it. Once I have recovered, I am compelled to speak for what I believe in again.

I challenge other activists to stop and think before they criticize a socially unacceptable activist. Stop and ask yourself, have I suffered around this issue? And, how much do I really know about it?

If you have neither experience or knowledge to inform you, consider being an ally. Us fringe activists of socially unacceptable causes – we can always use more of those. Allies are the people who respect our experience and support our right to speak our truth.

Respect my experience. Support my right to speak my truth. Be my ally. And I will do the same for you.

 

After remark: I LOVE this article by Kathi Valeii. You could replace “anti-vaxxer” with “sex worker” in this article and it would still work perfectly. Women oppressing women in the name of Feminism.